HORIZON-CSA HORIZON Coordination and Support Actions
2024-09-26 17:00




4 years


The ERA Talents action aims to boost interoperability of careers in the academic and non-academic sectors and improve employability of R&I talents across sectors. The action has a centre of gravity in Widening countries. It fits within the overall Union policy of promoting more attractive research careers, implemented through Action 4 of the ERA Policy Agenda 2022-2024, and responds to the Council Conclusions on “Deepening the European Research Area: Providing researchers with attractive and sustainable careers and working conditions and making brain circulation a reality”[1].

Projects are expected to contribute to several of the following outcomes:

  • Strengthened R&I human capital base in Widening countries with more entrepreneurial and better-trained researchers, innovators, research managers and/or other R&I talents;
  • Boosted R&I support capacity in academic and non-academic organisations;
  • A more balanced geographical and cross-sectoral talent circulation;
  • Increased access for private entities to public R&I institutions, including R&I infrastructures and their know-how across Europe and beyond;
  • Increased excellence of the research performing organisation in Widening countries;
  • A more structured and impactful collaboration between the academic and non-academic sectors;
  • Increased research, entrepreneurial and other transferable skills for the R&I talents exchange in the action;
  • Improved employability and sustainable career prospects for R&I talents within the academic and non-academic sectors

ERA Talents scheme promotes inter-sectoral collaboration in R&I through cross-sectoral exchange of staff with a focus on Widening countries. With Action 4 of the ERA Policy Agenda (2022-2024), the European Commission aims, amongst other targets, to support and incentivise transformations towards a more geographically balanced talent circulation, increased interoperability of careers across different sectors, and improved employability of researchers and other R&I talent. Within this scope, ERA Talents seeks to support the training and mobility of researchers, innovators, and/or other R&I talents across sectors, focusing on Widening countries.

The proposals should address one or both of following aspects related to improving training and lifelong learning opportunities for researchers, innovators, and other research and innovation talents. In particular:

  • training in skills and competences following specific demand from other sectors (notably the business sector), leading to improved employability of individuals, increased access to knowledge for the host organisation, and overall strengthened interoperability of careers between the sectors involved; skills can particularly include entrepreneurship, use of digital tools, knowledge valorisation, intellectual property rights, and the greening of society;
  • training to build R&I support capacity in both the academic and non-academic sectors, such as administrative, managerial, and technical staff supporting R&I activities and capacities in their organisations (e.g., data stewards, research managers and administrators, research infrastructure operators, knowledge valorisation officers).

Proposals must involve organisations from the academic and non-academic sectors, exploit the complementary competences of the participating organisations and create synergies between them. It is expected that this action creates a win-win situation for all consortium partners by upskilling their human capital, thereby strengthening their future competitiveness and level of excellence.


  • should be open to researchers, innovators, and other R&I talents (for example administrative, managerial, and technical staff supporting R&I activities and capacities in their organisations) at any career stage;
  • should be between different sectors (from academic to non-academic or vice versa) or between non-academic participants; secondments can take place between academic participants only in the specific case of other R&I talents (for example, administrative, managerial, and technical staff supporting R&I activities and capacities in their organisations);
  • should involve at least one participant from a Widening country;
  • should in principle be cross-border, but in exceptional and justifiable cases, secondments can also take place within the same Widening country, e.g., to strengthen local innovation ecosystems;
  • can only take place between independent legal entities;
  • may be split into several stays with one or several participating organisations, but cannot exceed 24 months in total for the same staff member.

Budget & applicable contribution: At least 70% of EU requested contribution should be dedicated to the beneficiaries from the Widening countries.

The grant covers expenses related to the participating organisations and individual staff members hosted/seconded (e.g., administrative costs, training costs, travel and subsistence costs, salaries for seconded staff, and costs associated with dissemination, communication and knowledge valorisation).

Proposals are requested to estimate the number of secondees the mobility opportunity will be provided for. The proposals, if funded, are expected to establish a Personal Career Development Plan for seconded staff, including where relevanta return plan for the seconded staff, in particular if the sending organisation is located in a Widening country. The return plan should define the support package after the secondments are ended. Approaches promising improved and more sustainable career prospects for the secondees will be regarded positively during evaluation, thus maximising the impact of the action on employability, knowledge sharing and long-term collaboration.

Specific attention should be paid to gender equality objectives, in line with the organisations’ commitments through their adopted gender equality plans and in line with the ERA objectives, as appropriate.